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Brighid's intro: my slow-mo clonazepam taper hits a speed bump


Brighid

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First off I want to say how grateful I am to everyone here for their incredible generosity of spirit while going through such hard times. I have long hesitated to post on forums and have mostly been a lurker here, but I have been so moved and awed by all the good you do—Alto, Rhi, Skyler, Dave, and so many others.

 

 

            Now I find myself at a place where I need guidance and don’t know where to turn. (Please skip to “THE CURRENT PROBLEM” below if you don’t want to read my ramblings!) I am sorry if this is too long (as the saying goes, if I had more time I would have written a shorter letter. . . ).

 

            Where to begin? I’m the youngest of five, and all but one of my siblings has been hospitalized at some point for depression (and some for alcoholism). I am not the exception (for the former). My parents were loving, if challenged by life’s demands; my mother suffered from unacknowledged depression (including postpartum) herself. I wonder whether hormonal sensitivities or other genetic predispositions (no, not chemical imbalance) played a part for all of us.

 

            My own symptoms started at 13, at a time when an older adolescent sibling was under the heavy guns of psych meds and shock therapy. Not wanting the same, I flew under the radar as long as I could. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I found myself in a psychiatrist’s office (at others’ urging) and shortly after in a locked hospital ward. I realize now that the causes were largely situational (a dangerously volatile situation with an ex-husband, while raising a small child and struggling to make ends meet), and that a retreat to a health spa would have done me far, far better (as my then-boss noted ruefully later).

 

            Those were the years when we were not only listening to Prozac, we were expecting it to transform our personalities into our charismatic best selves, luring lines of suitors to our doorsteps. It was in this shining new world that an under-100-pound person was started on a dose of 40mg of this miracle drug. Within a day I was tripping, unable to sleep for even a second, begging the residents (don’t ever get hospitalized in July) to take me off the drug that was making me psychotic. When they assured me that I would never get well without it, I found a guardian angel of a nurse who advised me that I had a right to refuse, as long as I dutifully took my place in the sheepish meds line and said thanks but no thanks.

 

            But this was a long-acting drug, and every day, even after it was out of my system, it spurred a rise in terror (“I can see the fear in your eyes,” my visiting mother told me). Luckily, there was one balm that eased it: my antidote, Klonopin. Even though I had always been exquisitely sensitive to drugs (I used to joke that if someone in the next apartment took a medication, I got their side effects), that 0.5mg of Klonopin, I believed, was always good to me.

 

            And so I kept taking it, long after I left the hospital, in ever so small a dose—not every day, but more days than not. Days after days after days. And when the depression returned with a vengeance (rocky relationships, money troubles . . . ) I was urged to keep trying to find a magic bullet to fix that too. Incredibly, I ended up back on Prozac, thanks to a doctor who had me take a homeopathic approach—starting with tiny amounts dissolved in orange juice, then building up to 20mg and higher. For a time, it actually seemed to work—I felt more engaged and happier (and heavier!) than I’d been for some while. After four years, when I realized that both ends of the emotional spectrum had dulled, I wanted off. And so began the rollercoaster ride that I have yet to escape.

 

            On and off, on and off. I used to get what I called “body dreams”—my head pelted by ball bearings, a plant growing through my forehead—my subconscious telling me to get rid of what was poisoning me. The concept of tapering was barely a consideration—a month was usually deemed sufficient. And when I was on, I kept getting the side effects that no one had ever heard of. Effexor: hypoglycemic episodes AND irregular bleeding. Serzone: instant urinary retention. Celexa: intractable somnolence. Wellbutrin: painful muscle tension (especially when combined with the amphetamines someone thought would be a good idea to treat my “ADD”). By the time I decided to say goodbye to the antidepressant merry-go-round for good, my muscle pain was so bad that taking 0.25mg clonazepam twice a day, every day—no increase to my daily dose, after all!—seemed like a good idea.

 

 

            And so life went on. And so much of that life is lost to me now, a total blur. Others have written on this site about having a deep regret about the way their tumultuous psych-med whirlwind affected their relationship with their children, and I will say that my own deepest sorrow, looking back, is in realizing not only how much I was robbed of my self (flawed though I was), but also how much my daughter was robbed of me. But I can’t dwell on that, not here right now.

 

 

           Jump ahead some ten years to 2011, when I discovered Whitaker’s “Anatomy” and found confirmation of what I already knew, if not in my conscious mind, in my bones. You know how in every medical procedural TV show, there comes a moment when the patient du jour wakes up and cries, “I can’t feel my legs!” Well, in the most profound sense imaginable, I realized I couldn’t feel my feelings. I couldn’t feel anything. My memory was shot to hell. I couldn’t plan and execute tasks. And there seemed to be nobody driving the bus--some very essence of “me” had disappeared.

 

            As to what happened next, my signature line gives some sense of it. I sought help from every corner imaginable, and found some of the worst advice from the holistic osteopath who was at that time my PCP (“just cut out your morning dose”). My savvy psychopharmacologist of many years (himself a meditator, and a believer in energy healing) informed me that he had a patient who had tried for a year to get off Klonopin with the best possible support system and couldn’t do it (“he couldn’t stand the ‘fuzzy’ feeling”). Then he (my doctor, that is) retired into the sunset and was never seen again.

 

 

            I made so many mistakes. I started (on that osteopath’s advice) to taper just one of my daily doses and not the other, then went back to the beginning and started all over again. Tried the 10% taper, and it was too much for me. (Granted, I was cutting a 0.5mg tablet in quarters as part of my dose, which it took me a long time to realize was a spectacularly inaccurate way to measure.) After a year of horrible anxiety, depersonalization, derealization, and other fun stuff I found myself in so much pelvic and bladder pain that I went through a million workups only to find myself in a PT’s office for a year’s worth of specialized therapy, holding my dose the entire time.

 

            I started again, at a 5% taper. A few months later I broke my foot badly and held my dose again while I recovered from that and other life calamities, including three deaths in the family. In July of 2014 I took a breath and started again, managing by year’s end to have only cut my original dose in half, from 0.25 twice a day to 0.125 bid.

 

            Then I was at a crossroads. I couldn’t cut that tablet any further. And I was afraid to switch to an all-liquid dose. A month or so earlier, I had been forced to switch to a different compounding pharmacy (the one I trusted had to cease compounding), and foolishly decided to switch to an all-liquid dose at the same time. Whether it was a change in brand, an error on the pharmacy’s part, or the switch from solid to liquid, I’ll never know, but the result was a terrible reaction that felt like there was no drug in that liquid at all—like I was dosing water. I felt completely “unsupported,” with heart palps and major difficulty breathing. I went back to cutting the tabs and tapering the 10 drops of liquid I had left down to zero. I held that 0.125 tablet for several weeks, while I went round and round about what to do next.

 

THE CURRENT PROBLEM

As of March 20, I started taking two 0.125mg capsules of clonazepam a day from a trustworthy compounding pharmacy. I opted to take a pure form of clonazepam (pure poison, as opposed to adulterated poison … ) with no chemical fillers or additives, rather than continuing with the Teva brand I had been taking for years. My game plan was to make changes in form as slowly as possible from there—to take the initial dose for a month, then start with a solid capsule equaling ¾ of that dose and a liquid equaling ¼ of the dose and taper down the liquid at a rate of 5% of my current total dose per month. Then I’d move to half solid and half liquid, and ideally end with all liquid, if I could tolerate it.

 

            Things started out OK—the first three or four days on the new compound I had some unpleasant hypoglycemic-type feelings, but then they went away. It was smooth sailing for several days after that—so much so, that I even fantasized that my good steady dose might allow me to taper (eventually) a little faster than 5%.

 

 

           Then, on March 30, I somehow forgot to take my morning dose. I thought something was up that evening, with an uptick in anxiety symptoms (I also was out at a movie, and didn’t take my evening dose until later than usual). The next two or three days I realized I was having an increase in emotional volatility. I counted my pills and confirmed that I had screwed up. Things improved for a few days after that. Then, this past Monday (a week after missing the dose—and AFTER seeing improvement for a few days), I started having an intolerable case of vertigo out of the blue that hasn’t let up since.

 

            Some factors in play: (1) I (stupidly!) started using a very high potency prescription corticosteroid ointment for eczema on Saturday. I knew better. I had felt shamed by the dermatologist, who (when I told her about my drug sensitivities—including to several antibiotics) acted like I was a baby and insisted that I’d only be taking it for two weeks. I used it for four days, including on some open skin. (2) I (stupidly!) ate more than my fill of Easter sweets (cheesecake . . . key lime pie) on Sunday, and on Monday, and on Tuesday, after having no sugar for quite a while. I had gone off the wagon before—on holidays or at special gatherings—and had some uptick in symptoms, but nothing like this. (3) I had less sleep than usual two or three nights in a row. (4) I had been having a lot of trouble with muscle tension in my neck, exacerbated by upper-body PT, which I had to stop as a result. I had three (low-force) chiropractic adjustments to correct neck misalignment, after which (yesterday) the chiro threw up her hands and said it had to be from withdrawal, that the neck wasn’t getting better.

 

            (5) Another big factor: starting in January, while I was still cutting 0.5 clonazepam tablets into quarters, I developed a bizarre symptom: every time I took my daily constitutional—a moderately brisk 30-minute walk—I would develop, about 45-60 minutes after walking, jaw pain and sometimes nerve pain in my lower teeth. It was awful, but it would subside after a couple of hours. I thought it might have to do with the rise in cortisol from exercise (even though it was truly moderate), so I tried taking some vitamin C before the walk and magnesium after. My PT thought it might be postural, so she gave me exercises to do before and after my walk. My dentist thought it might be from grinding my teeth, so he made me a night guard. But the symptom never fully went away, and at times I would become afraid to walk for fear of setting it off.

 

            And now this vertigo, which is the worst symptom yet. I keep thinking it will go away, but it hasn’t. I had to leave work today because it was making me sick. The room doesn’t spin, but I get a sense of very unpleasant disequilibrium when I move my head, and sometimes even when I move my eyes. My instinct for comfort is to sit with a pillow pressed against the lower part of the back of my head with a heating pad. I’ve also tried putting a cold pack there to see if it’s nerve-related.

 

            I have a previously scheduled appointment with my PCP tomorrow (originally just to check in on my blood pressure) which I was planning on postponing, but now I’m thinking I should keep it to talk about the vertigo. But a huge part of me is reluctant, as I don’t think this doctor (who I don’t know very well) will be sympathetic to my suggestion that it might be withdrawal related, and it could open a Pandora’s box and a wild-goose-chase of tests. 

 

 

           So (finally!) comes my question: Can anyone advise me as to whether this vertigo sounds like it could be related to a wave, or an aftereffect of missing a dose, or any of the other factors I’ve laid out? Does it sound like a withdrawal effect at all? Should I give it more time before seeing a doctor? (I’ve had it since Monday; it’s now Thursday).

 

 

           For bonus points, I’d also love some insight about the jaw- and tooth-pain problem mentioned above, but I don’t want to push my luck!

 

           I am endlessly grateful in advance for any feedback anyone might have. God, it’s exhausting writing all this stuff down! Wishing you all love and light.

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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Hi welcome

There will other who will answer all your questions. I can only tell you about my experiences with withdrawals? Vertigo has been

One of the symptoms I have had it off and on ever since I cut my dose of effexor in half. I never had this before meds or wds. I do think it can get worse with missed doses.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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Thanks, Lexy! I like the "off" part of that off-and-on description. Still pondering a doctor check-in (my sister has Meniere's disease, though this doesn't quite fit the pattern), but I am so reluctant to go down that road. I find that just moving my eyes to the side can trigger a feeling of disequilibrium, before even getting out of bed. Ugh.

Separate question: is it possible to add key words to an intro topic after it's started? Forgive my inepti-techtidude.

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Brighid, welcome to SA. Thank you for posting your introduction, you've been on psych drug merry go round with a lot of experiments carried out with all those drugs! Sadly your story is not unusual here as you will have seen through reading the forums, so many people so badly affected it  is criminal but they just keep on doing it! 

 

I am sorry but I have no experience with benzo's but it does seem like you have your taper very much under control and doing all the right things. Maybe if you post in the benzo forum there are many members who are expert in benzo  withdrawal who will be able to support you. 

 

I had vertigo following recent surgery, which was caused by the changes and build up of drugs for the surgery. It lasted about 10 days then started to fade. Maybe all the changes recently have had a similar effect for you?  Hopefully it will settle down again, meantime I would hold where you are, don't change anything and take care of yourself so you can stabilise again. Plenty of pure water and simple food, avoid caffeine and other stimulants. Hope it settles down for you soon.

 

I'm sorry I'm not much help am I? I hope it passes for you as it did for me.

 

Edited to add......I believe you can add tags to your topic but not sure how, I will play around a bit and see if I can find how it's done.

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Many thanks, mammaP. It helps to hear that these things can be transient, and I'm so glad that your vertigo resolved pretty quickly. I hope that your surgery was successful as well.

 

I suspect that my vertigo stems from a perfect storm of causes. I decided not to go to my PCP today, but to take it easy instead and give it a little time. I have an appointment next week with an ENT in case things don't improve.

 

Thanks for your suggestion to post in the benzo forum, too. I'll give it a try. All best to you.

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ent is a good idea, there are several causes of vertigo and it is easy to blame withdrawal, I know I did and was so scared it was going to last for months!  

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-forum/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello, friends--I just posted in the benzo section but thought I'd post here, too, as my question is a timely one and the benzo section doesn't get too much traffic. I've been holding for several weeks (after switching from a brand to a pure compounded clonazepam) to stabilize before tapering again. And I was almost there before screwing up: I accidentally missed my morning dose (I take it twice daily). Should I let it go, or double up on this evening's dose? Or maybe take another half-dose and split the difference? I suspect it's the first option, but so want to avoid going down the rabbit hole again. It's such a fundamental question, but somehow I don't know the answer. I took my evening dose about an hour ago, but am feeling a little heart-palpitate-y, as though my body is catching on.

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Question answered in the benzo forum.  :)  Would that all screwups were as serious!

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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I don't think your body will miss .125 mg of clon. I cold turkeyed off a several year use of 3 mg of Clonazepam without a hitch about two years ago. Of course I was pegged out on 5 other psych meds at the time so my body probably didn't miss the clon. I know I didn't miss it.

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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We are all so different! I am exquisitely sensitive to changes in clonazepam--a 10% a month taper was too fast, and even 5% is a struggle sometimes. I'm glad you lucked out and did not fare badly after your cold turkey, Iamfine. I would be in dire straits if I did that, I'm afraid.

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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I didn't mean to dismiss your suffering, Lord knows I have had my fair share of suffering. But .125 mg is such a teenie little dose, have you ever questioned that some of it might just be habit?

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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Iamfine, I think Skyler and Rhi and the hundreds of people they have counseled can advise you that .125 of clonazepam is not a teeny tiny dose to someone who is sensitive to it and has a destabilized CNS. I have had many debilitating symptoms while withdrawing from my "small dose" that I haven't shared here. As for whatever you mean by "habit," please do not make assertions of this type on my thread; it is my understanding that it goes against the spirit of this forum. I wish you well on your own journey.

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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I didn't mean to dismiss your suffering, Lord knows I have had my fair share of suffering. But .125 mg is such a teenie little dose, have you ever questioned that some of it might just be habit?

 

.125 mgs of K is NOT a teeie little dose. The risk is the same for any of the psychotropic.. ADs, benzos.. once people are sensitized, tapering a drug can be very difficult.  The smaller the dose, the more difficult it is to taper.  You might want to read some of the information available on this site before you give further advice of this sort.  In particular, please read Tapering to Zero.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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I wasn't giving advice, would never do that.

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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I wasn't giving advice, would never do that.

 

You advised that .125 mgs. of K is a teenie dose, tacitly implying she could just jump off. And you also minimized Bridget's experience. Please read the thread I included in the previous post about tapering to Zero.  When there is CNS sensitization, tapering off the smaller doses can be VERY challenging.  

 

edited

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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iamfine, you cannot make those judgments for anyone else.

 

The day may come when you find you are extremely sensitive to dosage changes, too. Don't be complacent just because you've been lucky not to be so sensitive.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I know I am sorry if I offended anyone. If I ever have to take such a tiny dose though I will have to get out my magnifying glass :)

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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Brighid, what a journey you have been on!

 

I commend you - even though you had to suffer a lot to get here - at coming so far and with great care!

 

You must have supreme body awareness (some of it you wish you didn't) to have made it so far, just one drug, the last few tapers left.  AND working full time!  Wow!

 

I like your idea of taking 3/4 solid, 1/4 liquid, and using the liquid to bring the dose down.  There are others who have reported a huge difference between solid and liquid formulas.  It also helps immensely that you have a compounding pharmacy.  I had difficulty finding a Doctor who would prescribe for a compounding pharmacy, but now that I have, things can get so much easier. 

 

I, too, dread that "last little bit."  My pdoc would say what Iamfine did.  But we know better.  Maybe have a look here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-forum/

 

You may want to continue posting your progress here, but at least read through the benzo forum to see what others have done.

 

Welcome to SA, you seem a strong, able, and amazing woman.  I'm honored to meet you!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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JanCarol, I just wanted to (belatedly) thank you for your message. The kindness and generosity of the moderators here never ceases to amaze me. I stopped by your thread and see that you've certainly had your struggles too.

 

And yes, that "it's such a small dose, it shouldn't affect you" message was especially triggering because it echoes the dismissive response I've gotten from so many docs over the years. We do indeed know better.

 

I'm so glad you've found a doctor who will prescribe compounded meds. I am enormously grateful for mine, especially as he has also taken on battles with insurance that are above and beyond. 

 

And thank you for your referral to the benzo forum--I have in fact posted there and been assisted by Skyler. I jumped back to my general intro thread with the "what do I do if I miss a dose?" question, as I thought it might be somewhat universal (and I was over-eager for a rapid response :-). 

 

Wishing you well on the final stretch! I will visit your thread from time to time to see how you're doing.  

1990 - mid-2000s: on and off several ADs, including Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, and Wellbutrin. Many side-effects and hard withdrawals. 

1990 - mid-2000s: Klonopin 0.5 mg per day prn for sleep & anxiety.

mid-2000s - 2011: switched dosing to Klonopin 0.25 twice-daily for the above plus back pain (!) Never increased dose.

2011 - began taper with missteps; then @ 5% of current dose every 2 wks, using combo of pill and compounded liquid.

2012: yearlong hold at 0.165 bid to undergo specialized PT for pelvic floor syndrome, prob triggered by high muscle tone from taper.

2013: resumed taper @ 5% of current dose per month, from 0.165 down to 0.155 bid.

3/2013 - 6/2014: another year+ hold due to bad foot fracture & family trauma (sudden deaths).

6/2014 - 1/2015: resumed taper at 5% month; from 0.155 down to 0.125 bid (half original dose; or 1/4 of 0.5 tab). Held two months.

3/2015: Started 0.125 compounded tablets pure clonazepam, twice a day.

Supplements: fish oil, probiotics, cranberry, Vit C, Vit D, turmeric, magnesium powder, tablets, oil. Also occasional baby aspirin.

Exquisitely sensitive to meds. Working full time. In my late fifties. My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8733-brighids-intro-my-slow-mo-clonazepam-taper-hits-a-speed-bump/?p=145214

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